image of students participating in physical estimation activity at math field day

Story by Ainsley Hall

INWOOD — This week, students all over Berkeley County are putting their math skills to the test during Math Field Day, gathering at Musselman High School to complete multiple math-based challenges and compete for a top prize.

On Tuesday, students from fourth through fifth grade participated, sixth through eighth grade students participated on Wednesday and ninth through 12th grade will participate today.

Each grade level is given different challenges, according to the students’ skill level. Some of the activities include physical estimation, mental exact, mental estimation, short answer, open response and more. Every student also completes a written exam.

Anne Laskey, mathematics instruction specialist with Berkeley County Schools, oversees organizing the event. Laskey is passionate about helping students and sharing her love of math with others. Through Math Field Day, she hopes students will learn that math isn’t as scary or hard as they might think.

“It celebrates our strong math students,” Laskey said. “They don’t often get recognized, so it’s always important to have something like this to encourage them. Also, math often gets a bad reputation. I want students to be more confident in their skills.”

Students from schools throughout the county participate in the event, including Faith Christian Academy and Saint Joseph School. William Smith, seventh-grade math teacher at Mountain Ridge Middle School, came to the event to help support his students.

“We have students who excel in English or the arts, and we have students who excel in math,” Smith said. “It’s an important event for these students and gives them something fun to look forward to and show off their academic strengths.”

Like many math teachers, Smith enjoys seeing his students enjoy math by participating in Math Field Day. Smith learned to love math when one of his teachers helped him and encouraged him as he grew up.

“I remember, growing up, I had a math teacher who believed in me and helped me enjoy math,” Smith said. “As a teacher, I want to do the same for even one student. I also know what it’s like to struggle in math, so I want to help my students as much as possible.”

As the competition continues this week, students will continue to learn and improve their math skills to help them succeed in the future.